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May 13, 2021 6:26 AM
summer camp!
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Rebecca is at the lake, apparently, where kids are shooting flare guns out over the water like they're fireworks.

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Good, that's a lovely amount of background noise.

"Didn't find anything," she says, with an air of resigned disappointment. "Well, lecture notes, but it turns out I just wrote the thing down wrong. That was super cool, though, what you did. They can't all be real leads."

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"Awww. I guess that's good, I like Melissa. Want a flare?"

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"The counselors gave them to you?"

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"Shawn said no and Jerry said 'dignity of risk, man' and I didn't even have to point out that it's not risky, I'm telekinetic."

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"Yeah, what the heck." And so she cautiously experiments with flare guns.

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Rebecca helps people get extra lift on their flare gun throws and they make pretty fireworks out on the lake and eventually retreat back to their cabins to sleep.

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Everything is terrible. She goes to sleep without talking to Trace about it, because if she talks to Trace then she'll have to make decisions about whether to put her friend in danger or whether to lie to her friend or whether her friend is a necessary ally in - whatever it is that she's going to do about any of this, exactly.

If she wakes in the middle of the night and cries, she turns her face into the pillow and ignores it. Makes it harder to breathe, but nobody'll be able to see her, even if they do have night vision.

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The next day Avi and Jake and Sarah are not at breakfast or in class.

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Oh lovely.

She consults her notes for the relevant superpowers of Avi and Jake and Sarah, in case she had those written down somewhere.

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Sarah is half Kwaini demon, Avi is half Frophla demon, and Jake lost his arm in a magical accident but can still grab and move stuff with it.

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Well that's just super.

" - hey Trace? You seen Sarah and Avi around today?"

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"Nah. Maybe they switched classes?"

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"Maybe. - I dunno."

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"You think something ate them?"

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"I think - hm."

She gets out her notebook. Writes things down in ridiculously small letters that the best cameras maybe aren't good enough to pick up, if there are cameras.

This note needs to be thoroughly destroyed when we're done talking. There's something I want to talk to you about, but it could plausibly endanger you to know about it. And I don't mean expulsion, we're talking life and limb stuff, if that's not entirely too melodramatic.

She hands Trace her pen.

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I think people are really just having fun, with the conspiracy stuff. You should just ignore them if it's making you actually really scared in real life. Not that I'm not happy to listen to whatever it is.

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Yeah, I thought so, too. But now I think there's something there. 

Thing one - the government definitely has mind readers, so if I tell you the other stuff, then there's a chance that they'll find out what you know by reading your mind. I've been trying to keep them from doing it by, like, imagining that all of my thoughts are behind a waterfall that constantly plays music, but I don't actually know whether it's enough. It could be that the only way to meaningfully defend against it is to keep them from deciding to try.

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Why do you think the government has mindreaders?

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...promise not to tell anyone?

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Well, yeah.

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One of my friends is a mindreader. An OK one, one who doesn't read people unless it's OK with them or it's an emergency. They said there was one in government and at least one in range of the camp. They also said that the one in range of the camp wouldn't be reading people, and I mostly believed them, but I don't know how good their information is and I would really rather not bet lives on it.

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Huh. Okay. Well, they can’t be paying very close attention - we’ve been doing lots of stuff that’s not allowed.

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Either not paying attention or letting those things slide. Or taking it as information about us.

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You're really good at this stuff.

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